EPA approves money to ease drainage tunnel threatening Leadville | SummitDaily.com

EPA approves money to ease drainage tunnel threatening Leadville

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER ” The Environmental Protection Agency says it has approved money to pump water out of a Leadville drainage tunnel where more than a billion gallons of water is trapped.

Lake County officials have declared a state of emergency for fear that growing pressure in the tunnel could cause a catastrophic blowout and flood the town.

The tunnel drains contaminated water from abandoned mines.

EPA regional director Robbie Roberts said Thursday it would be 12 weeks before pumping could begin.

The plan calls for drilling a well into the tunnel and pumping water to a Bureau of Reclamation treatment plant.